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The Tropical biology and conservation research group carries out a diverse range of research, spanning the effects of the physical environment on population dynamics and life histories of coral reef fishes and invertebrates, predator-prey interactions, and development, growth and behaviour of tropical specie. Importantly, we apply this fundamental knowledge to better understand how tropical coral reef ecosystems will change under future marine conditions.

We undertake marine fieldwork and experiments across the tropical Pacific regions, to address these questions. We have access to a broad range of tropical reef environments from research stations on the Great Barrier Reef to several South Pacific islands as well as access to ocean-going vessels. Our research has a strong emphasis on providing science to better inform management of some of our most vulnerable marine ecosystems. Educational initiatives and projects look at ways to work alongside Pacific people to increase understanding and engagement with environmental issues.

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Publications for the above researchers can be found at the bottom of their academic profile pages.

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Research projects

  • eDNA monitoring of Ccown of thorns starfish
  • Thermal windows and distributions in tropical invertebrates
  • Effect of food and warming on crown of thorn seastar larval stages
  • Adaptation to climate change in tropical echinoids
  • Effects of climate change on tropical invertebrate larval stages
  • Reef fish population processes
  • The influence of habitat degradation on fish communities
  • Reef fish behaviour under different environmental contexts
  • Predator-prey interactions in reef fish including sharks
  • Engaging Tongan youth in the science and story of climate change


We have the resources , scholarships , staff and opportunities you need to reach your goals. Please refer to each staff member's profile for research and study options.

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